In the Vietnam War (1955–75): any of a number of purpose-built fortified agricultural centres in South Vietnam, established under a policy of relocating and concentrating dispersed farming communities for safety against the Viet Cong.
The policy was introduced in 1959 by President Diem of Vietnam but soon failed, largely as a result of peasant opposition. It was replaced in 1961 by the ‘strategic hamlet’ programme, under which existing villages were fortified.
1960s. Apparently from agro- + -ville.